With all technology and software out there, there are no excuses in not wanting or forgetting to back up our computers. Our digital life is as important as our biological life and the files stored in our devices are part of our personal history.
When I visit new customers, sometimes I see that they have old pcs and they haven’t backed them up for years. I also saw people with new pcs not being backed up at all, maybe because those folks believe that a new pc has lower chances of crashing. Both attitudes are wrong.
As I keep checking up regularly the backup of my customers, I believe that if I write an article about backing up computers, readers of my blog will find my resource helpful and will feel encouraged in taking a positive stance towards the files stored in their machines.
– If you still own a Windows 7 pc, please back up all your files to an external USB hard drive and get a new machine as soon as possible. Windows 7 has been discontinued in 2020 and running a machine that has no patched software is risky and will make your files more vulnerable. If for some reasons you still need to run Windows 7, unplug the ethernet cable from the pc and run the machine offline. Needless to say that even an offline pc still needs to be backed up, so back it up !
– The reason why we need to backup a Windows computer is not only to protect it against data loss but also because we want to avoid ransomware. The best way to backup a pc nowadays are three:
1- By default Mac computers come with the utility called “Time Machine” which allows users to backup the entire computer to an external hard drive or to a network drive. I highly recommend to use this method but with the caveats highlighted in the point number 1 above.
2- There is also another effective way to store Mac files in the cloud and I have found easy to use Backblaze . Backblaze backs up your Mac every 15 minutes to the cloud and it has been tested to protect your files against the most common threats, including ransomware.
3- If you don’t want to invest in Backblaze and you have enough storage in your Icloud account, Icloud is also an easy and secure way to store your files in the cloud.
As you can see, there are many ways to protect your files from computers that can shut down without notice. It’s up to each user to be educated and select which solution best fits budget and usability.